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Posted Jan 10, 2016

From Loraine Campbell’s Quill

Photo of Loraine CampbellHappy New Year! I hope that your holiday season was filled with family, friends, food, and time to reconnect, refresh, and renew. For years I have treated the week between Christmas and New Years as a time for personal reflection– a chance to think about what have I done and what would like to accomplish. This year I thought a lot about why I like to teach and write. I realized that I really love to hear people say things like, “I didn’t know that,” or “I never thought about it that way before,” or “Wow, that is cool!” In a nutshell, that is why members of the Village staff and I decided to start the Quill, our new Village blog. Each Friday we will post a new installment. We plan to rotate writing responsibilities among four staff members who will share a bit of history, recount Village experiences, or showcase cool stuff and information from our collections. We hope that our readers will learn a bit, enjoy the wonderful items we have tucked away in the Village archives and storage rooms, gain an insight or two, or sometimes just laugh. History is cool. Learning is fun. Understanding how people have dealt with challenges in the past can motivate or even inspire us. So what is my history nugget this week? I learned a wonderful fact during my holiday break while reading David McCullough’s The Wright Brothers. (I enjoyed the book immensely and highly recommend it. It is an interesting, informative, and inspiring read.) Orville Wright’s first flight at Kitty Hawk on December 17, 1903 lasted 12 seconds. The brothers’ hand-crafted Flyer 1 gained an altitude of 20 feet on the brothers’ first machine-powered flight. Just 66 years later, on July 20, 1969, after the Apollo 11 spacecraft travelled approximately 238,000 miles, Neil Armstrong stepped on to the moon. Tucked in Armstrong’s spacesuit was a piece of muslin– fabric used to cover the wing of the Wright’s brothers’ Flyer 1.

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